San Francisco, Alaska and Grand Princess, here we come!
I am getting a jump on reviewing this trip - our 2013 summer vacation - less than two days before departure. Tomorrow, I'll be busy double-checking and triple-checking my CruiseCrazies packing list to make sure I have everything covered and probably will be too exhausted to do much of anything else, let alone write.
The idea - and I'm probably over my head on this one - is to write a day-by-day review of our experiences along the way - sort of a "Live From" report. As with most good intentions, however, things don't always turn out as planned. Much will depend, of course, on internet connection, cooperation from my iPad, free time and my level of exhaustion after a day of sightseeing. If my pen runs dry or I am just having too much fun to write, don't despair. You can count on a full trip review when I return!
After months of preparation, excitement and anticipation, the day is nearly here. Our bags are nearly packed - or I should say OVER-packed - and we have to endure just one more day of work before finally escaping life's daily routine. Come early Friday morning, my brother and his wife will greet us with their cheery smiles, our hired car will scoop us up well before the New England sun rises, and promptly transport the four of us to Boston to await our non-stop flight to San Francisco.
This is a first visit for all of us to San Francisco, and we are eager to experience as much as we can in the three days we have before boarding the Grand Princess. I understand that the city is alive with the America's Cup races, and being summer, I expect the streets will be bustling. Our home base for three nights will be the Best Western Tuscan Inn. Originally booked directly with the hotel using a 30% AAA discount, I later discovered an even lower rate through Hotwire, and being one who never passes up a deal, I canceled and re-booked our two rooms, saving us a few bucks - which we will blow later on the ship. Hey, it's vacation!
My well-planned itinerary - which all in our party will follow because I tell them to - includes a 4-hour city tour with a local guide and an evening visit to Alcatraz, tickets for which were purchased the day they opened for sale. It's a good thing, too, because a week later they were gone. The rest we will make up as we go along. Armed with our mini city guide and advice from friends and acquaintances, I am sure we will have no trouble filling our time with all sorts of city splendor. Marin County, Muir Woods and Sausalito will be explored later with another local guide when we return from the cruise.
Stay tuned ...